Latest posts by BobTheGardener

What are these

Posted: 18/09/2015 at 08:12

The could both be the same plant nut.  Both chenopodium and amaranthus are closely related, are fast evolvers and freely cross with others in their own group, making them difficult to identify.  Amaranthus are commonly known as pigweeds.  Some piccies & info. here:

I think it is most likely A.retroflexus as Jo said.  As a group, they have been largely ignored by british botanists, apparently.  Scholarly article:

What I do know is that they are a pain in the b*m on my veg plot! 

preserving tomatoes

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 22:05

How about making tomato sauce?  When I get an over-abundance, I chop an onion or two, add chopped garlic, fry until soft in olive oil, add and fry-off a bit of balsamic vinegar then finally lots of chopped tomatoes, fresh herbs (mainly oregano) and reduce until nice and thick.  The result can then be frozen without any detectable loss of taste and later used to top pizza, toast, or as a base for an absolute multitude of other dishes.  Wouldn't be without it.


What are these

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 18:51

I agree with Dave that the first one looks like a Chenopodium (Goosefoot) of some kind.  If it is, it will produce thousands of very long lived seeds so I'd get rid.

The second one I don't recognise but it looks 'weedy' is clearly a slug magnet and judging by the 'flowers', it also looks like it will seed like mad so I would get rid of it, personally.

Garden Pictures 2015

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 12:47

Lovely photos folks!

A definite autumnal look to my garden now - a few pics from today:

Speckled Wood butterfly on a strawberry - nice camoflage:

Young Ariona (chokeberry) with the red foliage, young Cotinus (smoke bush) with dark foliage and a Hypericum showing all stages - flowers, red and black berries:

and a bee enjoying a fantastically scented Heliotrope (don't see many folk growing this any more - a real shame):

Weed ID please

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 12:17

I can vouch for the seed viability information.  I get this growing in my veg beds every year but always hoe or pull them up well before they set seed and have been doing so for about 30 years.  Only 10 more years to go then and I'll be free of this blasted stuff..

danphne Aureomarginata

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 12:08

I would emphasize the word 'fussy' in Posy's reply.  Here is a photo of two Daphne aureomarginata, bought from the same supplier at the same time, potted in exactly the same compost (JI No.3) and kept side-by-side.  One has romped away and all the other one has done is drop the odd leaf;  It is no larger now than a year ago!

Actually I will use the phrase 'extraordinarily finicky'. 

Raised bed cabbage infestation

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 11:20

If they are ants, they will have made a nest somewhere in your raised bed because it is drier than the other soil in your garden.  Ants don't like water.  All you need to do is regularly and thoroughly water the bed (even if there is nothing in it now) and the ants will move on.

Ants do not damage plants directly but their nest can expose the roots of any plants which happen to be growing directly above the nest to air which can stunt their growth.


brown leaves and lumps on my pear tree leaves

Posted: 12/09/2015 at 17:00

Regular inspection and removing any affected leaves (orange spots) you see over the growing season will keep it under control.  Don't let the leaves get to the stage where the lumps on the back form as those will release spores which will affect more leaves.

On very young trees with not many leaves I've had great success by just cutting the affected part of the leaf off, unless it was near the base of the leaf in which case the whole leaf was removed.



Posted: 12/09/2015 at 13:07

They should ripen any time from now until about November primrosecottage.  As soon as you see the first split in the pod they will be ready and you should plant them immediately.  Don't let the (ericaceous) compost you plant them in dry out but don't over water.  Also don't put the pot in full sun - shade is better.


Posted: 12/09/2015 at 11:26

It's a seedpod susan.  They sometimes produce these but not very often.  If you want to try growing one from seed, leave it on the plant until it starts to split open by itself at which point the seeds will be ripe.  Any viable seeds will be quite large - pea sized and you can pop them into a pot of ericaceous compost just below the surface and cover in a layer of grit.  Leave outside somewhere sheltered and, with luck, they will germinate in spring.  Any new plants won't be the same as the original though - Camelia seeds don't come true.

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